DePaul University has become one of the newest members of HathiTrust, a worldwide partnership of more than 100 libraries and research institutions “working to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future.” Launched in 2008, HathiTrust and its partners provide access to a collection of more than 7 million book titles and more than 400,000 serial titles through the HathiTrust Digital Library and Research Center. As a HathiTrust member, DePaul University will be able to provide its students, faculty, and staff with access to more than 5,000,000 volumes in the public domain, as well as to the computational tools needed to conduct text mining and other forms of research in the digital humanities.
“The DePaul University Library has made significant investments over the past few years in digital content, information technology, and staff expertise, to allow us to better serve the needs of an array of digital scholarship programs,” said University Librarian Scott Walter, “and we are excited to be able to provide access to the digital content, tools, and training, available as part of this landmark, collaborative effort.” The HathiTrust collection of historical government documents, Walter continued, “will allow us to add another dimension to the ‘digital depository’ program launched last year when DePaul joined the Federal Depository Library Program.” DePaul community members will be able to access these digital materials through the HathiTrust web site or through the “Databases and Resources” guide on the library web site.
Recently-funded projects like the “Reading Chicago Reading” study being led by John Shanahan (LAS), Robin Burke (CDM), and Megan Bernal (University Library) will benefit from DePaul’s partnership with HathiTrust, as will other innovative teaching, learning, and research programs in the digital humanities. As Paul Jaskot, Professor of History of Art and Architecture, has said:
“HathiTrust provides a central portal for the use of millions of digital texts, allowing for aggregated corpora searches that are becoming more and more central to work in the Humanities. Their collections feature hard-to-find materials from cook books to the history of stoves that are essential for understanding how we negotiate our world. Given the importance in the Digital Humanities of seeing this information at a large scale, membership in HathiTrust makes perfect sense for an institution like DePaul that is pushing into new research and teaching opportunities in this area.”
As a partner in the university’s pursuit of its strategic goal of supporting educational innovation, the DePaul University Library provides access to tools and technology supporting digital scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, including the Scholar’s Lab and other digital services. If you are working in one of these areas, or would like to explore how the library can further support your work in one or more of these areas of digital scholarship, please contact your liaison librarian to learn more.